Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Identified new genetic markers for high-risk cases of breast cancer

Researchers have found that small changes in the DNA sequence of genes involved in DNA repair are associated with different breast cancer susceptibilities in women, suggesting that these differences could be used as genetic markers for higher risk cases.

Released as an advance online publication in the “Breast Cancer Research and Treatment” journal, the work can help, not only in the early detection and treatment of the disease, but also gives a better understanding of the mechanisms behind it.

DNA repair genes, as the name indicates, repair damaged DNA in a process crucial for cancer prevention. In fact, all over the body genetic mutations are constantly occurring and being fixed through several DNA repair mechanisms and so avoid the accumulation of harmful mutations that can ultimately lead to cancer. As consequence it has been suggested that problems in the body’s DNA repair mechanisms/genes can facilitate the development of cancer.

Following this idea, Sandra Costa, Fernando Schmitt and colleagues in Portugal and Spain, decided to test if it was possible to correlate different forms of four major DNA repair genes existent in the human population to different susceptibilities to breast cancer. In fact, different individuals can present small differences in the DNA sequence of a gene, as it happens, for example, with the gene for eye colour where the variations give origin to the different colours. These different DNA sequences appear as result of mutations and are called genetic polymorphisms.

... more about:
»DNA »DNA repair »Polymorphism »XRCC1 »XRCC3 »breast cancer

For this study Costa, Schmitt and colleagues analysed 285 breast cancer patients and 442 healthy controls looking at several genetic polymorphisms in four major DNA repair genes - XRCC1, XPD, RAD51 and XRCC3 - and their relationship with breast cancer incidence.

It was found that women carrying the genetic polymorphism XRCC1 399Gln and who had no family history of breast cancer, had not only less disease than healthy controls, but it was also found that disease, when it occurred, started later in life. This result suggested that XRCC1 399Gln had a protective effect against breast cancer.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, a genetic polymorphism in the XRCC3 gene - XRCC3 241Met - increased susceptibility to the disease and accelerated disease onset. Again this was only observed in women without a family history of breast cancer.

Finally, the team of researchers found that the polymorphism RAD51 135C increased the risk of breast cancer, this time in the group of women that belonged to families with previous cases of the disease. Variations in the fourth gene studied – XPD – did not show any effect in the incidence of breast cancer at least among the groups and the polymorphisms analysed in this work

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women. According to the World Health Organization every year more than 1 million of people will be diagnosed worldwide with the disease, while 1 in 8 women will develop it during their lifetime. Nevertheless, nowadays, a diagnostic of breast cancer has a relatively good prognosis much due to the development of disease awareness and frequent screenings among women - especially those belonging to higher risk groups - allowing earlier detection (and treatment) of the disease

The work by Costa, Schmitt and colleagues, by suggesting that XRCC1 Arg399Gln, XRCC3 Thr241Met and RAD51 G135C can be used as markers for different cancer susceptibilities, helps not only to elucidate the mechanisms behind disease, but can be also crucial in the early identification of those high risk cases. These are interesting results for breast cancer, which by being the result of a complex interaction of inherited as well as environmental factors is still far from being understood and/or controlled.

Piece researched and written by: Catarina Amorim

Catarina Amorim | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: DNA DNA repair Polymorphism XRCC1 XRCC3 breast cancer

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>